Business model design

Business Models

Alphabet: Has Google Solved the Big Company Growth Trap?

This is the third in our series on FANG company business model narratives, including Facebook and Netflix (check next week for Amazon). Typically, when companies get big, extremely mega big, $100 BN revenues big, they start to slow down. Google is not slowing down. Companies built on technology follow an S curve of growth. At the start of the curve, adoption is slow and development costs are high. At the inflection point of growth, Read More

The Facebook Narrative: Advertising to the Max

Is there any room for business model diversification? Yesterday Facebook announced a re-org of their management team to improve communication and put more accountability for privacy decisions. But the company also needed a reorg to deal with the growing complexity of their business. We all thought we understood Facebook’s advertising business model until it started to reveal itself to us following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Look under the hood at Read More

The Netflix Narrative: Subscription Superstar

Swerving and pivoting a business model story for customer joy and massive shareholder value  Thinking of a switch to a subscription model? We have much to learn from the swerves and pivots of today’s leading subscription company: Netflix. Of the top 5 tech companies, only Netflix depends entirely on a subscription revenue model for success, keeping it free and clear from impending regulatory threats for data usage with advertisers. “NFLX Read More

Predicting the Preposterous: Scenario Planning the End of Advertising

  One day, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page woke up and realized they were in the advertising business. And they were sad. All of that technical prowess, all of those high IQ Stanford grads, all of that bold experimentation to optimize people buying more stuff. Sergey and Larry did something about it. They aimed at moonshots: internet balloons, working Tricorders, self-driving vehicles, eternal life, energy kites. In 2015 Read More

2018: The Year Wall Street Became Socially Active

A call to articulate your long-term view We have this story we tell in business: a vicious loop of misaligned expectations and unrealized dreams. Investors, we tell ourselves, want short-term quarterly results. Visionaries have no place in large public companies because all decisions are optimized for the short term win. Unicorns, companies valued at a billion dollars or more, shy away from their IPO and public spotlight. Startup founders aim Read More

2018: The Year We Unlearned

Let’s start this year with a beginner’s mind. Tap into our rookie smarts. Shed the crustiest skin. Slough away the thickest callouses. Admit, for once, that we don’t know how this year is going to unfold: more unprecedented weather, politics, business transformation, and cultural change. A recent study published by NC State’s Management School revealed key risks and concerns of board members and senior execs in 2018. #1 on the list: The Read More

KPIs: Boxes to Digital Service Models

The Hardest Transformation: Changing What Your Measure  “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – Lord Kelvin “You are what you eat.” – Anthelme Brillat-Savarin   “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” – Peter Drucker  “You are what you measure.” – Anonymous Imagine Kelvin, Drucker, and Brillat-Savarin sitting down to a meal prepared from a Blue Apron subscription box. What would they think of today’s digital business models, tapping Read More

KPIs: Apples vs. Orange is the New Black

Ratings, Subscribers, and Netflix vs. the Media Execs Do industrial era executives have blind spots when trying to understand the success of disruptive digital-first competitors? Let’s take the case of media and the metrics of ratings vs. subscribers. Traditional TV and cable execs are still struggling to understand content consumption habits from video-on-demand, gaming consoles, cable set-top box, streaming, app-based, and old school broadcasting. If they can’t keep an accurate Read More

Negotiating New Business Models and Culture in an Age of Connected Machines

What do these recent events have in common: Cops are offered free body cameras from Taser Farmers are buying software patches from Ukrainian hackers for John Deere tractors Burger King tricked Google Home devices to talk about the Whopper In all of these cases, connected devices are reshaping business models. These new models are in turn shaping the cultural expectations for what we expect of the things in our lives. Read More

The Business Model Growth Map

You know you need to clarify where your business model is headed. Whether you are just starting, scaling into growth, or you are the market share leader, you are always looking new ways to generate value. The most valued companies today never stop creating new business models. Profitable innovators change their business models twice as frequently as their peers. > 90% of all business model innovations recombine existing ideas and Read More